March Madness: Time To Purge!

tenebris swover creek pumpkin savior grand arbor

You know how sometimes life gets in the way of a good thing?  That happened to me!  It seems like forever since I’ve written about my beer and cheese adventures.  After some thought, we decided a purge of the beer and cheese lingering in our refrigerator was in order.  We’ve really missed sharing our thoughts with all of you and are eager to get back on track.

First beer up is a very lovely Oatmeal Stout from Swover Creek Farm Brewery in Edinburg, Virginia.  If you get a chance to visit, please do!  Right now they are brewing and serving right out of their house, but are in the process of building a tasting room.  We paired this with several cheeses, but the best pairing by far was with an aged Gouda.  We’d love to tell you who made the cheese, but the label has been lost 🙂  The cheese brought forward the coffee and roasted notes very nicely.

Rogue Brewing has just released for Spring 2015 a Wit brewed with pumpkin and wheat called Pumpkin Savior.  I never thought we’d be drinking a pumpkin beer in the spring, but it’s actually very nice!  Definitely is not like the spice laden brews you find in the fall.  There is a hint of spices on the finish, but it’s not overwhelming. And if you’re a hater of sweet pumpkin beers, this is the one for you. The Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese cancels out the pumpkin and spice flavors, leaving you with a really great Wit beer flavor on the finish. It also pulls forward some of the rye flavor in the background. We then tried the beer with some Bellavitano Gold by Sartori. We picked up some citrus notes which were quite pleasant.

Next up was a Belgian Farmhouse Ale by Southern Tier called Grand Arbor. This one has been bottle conditioned and brewed with maple syrup. Oddly, you really don’t taste the maple at all. The bottle notes suggested an earthy cheese, so we grabbed some UnieKaas Truffled Gouda. If you are a fan of bitter beers, then pair this cheese with this beer. It really accentuates the bitter notes in the beer. Just for fun, we then paired the beer with Saint Angel from Guilloteau. Saint Angel is a really nice French triple crème cheese. This had the opposite effect on the beer. The cheese managed to bring out the sweet underlying banana notes usually found in Belgian beers, but then the maple appears on the finish!

Last beer of the evening was the Tenebris Barleywine aged in bourbon barrels from Adroit Theory in Purcellville, Virginia.  This brew has a real kick to it, but a pleasant sweetness you expect to find in a barrel aged beer.  The first cheese pairing was a Camembert from Ile de France.  It really complimented the beer without changing the flavors at all.  Truly a very nice pairing.  Even better, the St. Angel turns this wonderful brew into a dessert beer.  It pulls all of the latent bourbon sweetness right to the front of your palette.  By far this was the best pairing of the evening.

We are happy to be able to get back to our normal beer and cheese tasting routine!  We promise it won’t be so long in between posts next time.  And if it is, raid your fridge!  You might be surprised and the pairings you can come up with spur of the moment.





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